10/23/2007

Dogs

This post was inspired by Dan's enlightening (as always) recent post about Jewish attitudes toward animals and, in particular, dogs.

He starts with what he calls a Jewish joke, but the joke is not particularly Jewish. Here is the Jewish version of that joke:

"A man goes with his dog to visit his rabbi, feeling terribly disheartened. He describes to the rabbi how special the dog it, how the dog knows how to read and write, play the piano and even sing. The rabbi, confused, tells the man that he should be thankful. He can take the show on the road and use the dog to make an incredible fortune. 'I know', wails the man, 'but the stinking mutt just wants to sit and learn!'"

Dan's post, which talks about dogs at religious ceremonies and in shul, also reminded me of a conversation I had with my 3-year old son on the way to shul this past Shabbat. As we were walking, we saw a man walking his dog and said 'Shabbat Shalom' to him. My son asked if the dog was going to shul. I told him that dogs don't really go to shul, and that it's not nice to bring dogs to shul. I added, though, that there are special dogs who help people see when their eyes don't work. Those special dogs can go to shul.

He absorbs this for a second and then asks, "What kind of cat can go to shul."

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